France set to ban full Islamic veil
April 21, 2010
FRANCE is drawing up a law to ban the full-face Islamic veil from all public spaces, despite a warning from experts that it could face a legal challenge.
Government spokesman Luc Chatel said the bill would be presented to ministers next month and would go beyond a mere ban on women wearing the niqab and the burqa while dealing with French officials.
"We're legislating for the future. Wearing a full veil is a sign of a community closing in on itself and a rejection of our values," he said.
Last month, the State Council - France's top administrative authority - warned President Nicolas Sarkozy against a full ban on the veil, suggesting instead an order that women uncover their faces for identity checks or for state business.
But there remains broad support in parliament for a full ban and the Government is determined to press on with legislation, which it says would affect only around 2000 Muslim French women who cover their faces.